The Uganda Media Owners Association has filed a lawsuit in the Kampala High Court alleging that the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) newly introduced levied licence fee will subjects its 32 radio and television stations to double taxation. The stations noted the move by the government as unfair as they were already subjected to paying similar annual fees to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
Referring to the Trade Licencing Act amended by the Minister of Trade in 2017, Evelyn Ochakachon, the General Secretary of the Uganda Media Owners Association, highlighted her support of the case in her affidavit. Ochakachon noted that as a result of the 2017 case, radio and television stations that operated satellite connections were compelled to pay trade licence fees.
Ochakachon stressed that there had been several other rulings relating to how businesses and trades are regulated and licenced under different legal regimes. She then noted that businesses and trades were exempted from paying the trade licence to the government and any local government administration in Uganda in some instances.
The General Secretary further queries that she was putting to the court to determine whether broadcasters could be subject to KCCA and its mandate to levy trade licence fees on them in light of the recent court decisions. Additionally, the General Secretary wanted the court to rule on whether KCCA would need to refund the already paid fee, which they have been collecting from the media houses since 2017. The fees are in the range of SHs 94 million (US$26418,85).
The complainants are inclusive of KFM and Dembe FM, NBS Television and NTV Uganda.